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December 8, 2006


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The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a comprehensive resource for those working with benefit plans. Members enjoy personalized secondary research services, informative publications and online information, as well as discounted educational programs, books and distance learning options. Known as the cosponsor of the CEBS designation, the International Foundation also offers numerous ways to keep current with benefit issues, so you are prepared to answer your participants' questions.

The Public's Health Care Agenda for the New Congress and Presidential Campaign, December 2006
Excerpt: "This Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health National Survey looks at the public's priorities and views on health issues as a new Democratic majority takes the leadership of Congress and as the 2008 presidential campaign begins to take shape." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

H.R. 6408, Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, Introduced December 7, 2006
Includes provisions affecting Health Savings Accounts. The target page includes: the Legislative text of the Tax Act; the Technical Description of the Act; the Revenue Estimate of the Act; the Congressional Budget Office Score of the Act; and other references and resources. (U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means)

Overview: Assignment of Income Doctrine Constrains Employer Leave-Sharing Programs
Excerpt: "So what's the bottom line on leave-sharing programs? First, the assignment of income doctrine is alive and well -- even in the leave-sharing context. Second, an employer-sponsored leave-sharing program that is limited to employees' medical emergencies should fall safely within the exception to this doctrine announced in Revenue Ruling 90-29." (Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP)

Orange County, California, Supervisor Demands Audit of Deputy Sheriffs' Health-Insurance Fund
Excerpt: "[The supervisor is] calling for a full audit of a multimillion-dollar health-insurance fund administered by union leaders with public tax dollars. And he wants the sheriff's deputies to accept the same trims on retiree medical benefits imposed on general employees this year." (Orange County Register)

Electronic Health Records Can Create New Set of Compliance Hazards
Excerpt: "The first step toward minimizing compliance risks is including key people from multiple departments when deciding what kind of system to buy . . . . Their access and responsibilities must be factored in when making design and purchasing decisions." (Report on Medicare Compliance via AISHealth.com)

Opinion: Transparency in Health Care Insurance
Excerpt: "For a quarter-century the industry and its apologists in business, politics, and academia told the public managed care would solve the health care crisis. When even diehard defenders of the industry realized in the late 1990s that managed care had flopped, the industry came up with a new excuse to justify its existence and to distract public attention from real health care reform." (Kip Sullivan, Z Magazine, via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Essay: Follow the Money -- Payment Reform as the Key to Health Reform (PDF)
Excerpt: "This Issue Paper by David Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics and Dean for the Social Sciences of Harvard University, was the basis of his lecture, 'Follow the Money: The Problems and Opportunities Posed by Financial Incentives in Medicine,' on October 19,2005." (AARP)

Health Reform in Germany Would Increase Employer and Employee Contributions
Excerpt: "Employers and employees would have to pay more into Germany's publicly financed health care system if, as expected, the Parliament passes a law in February 2007 to fortify the ailing system. However, opposition from health insurance companies and the medical profession could force some amendments to the proposal." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Working Paper: Health Care Costs, Taxes, and the Retirement Decision
Excerpt: "To gauge the potential importance of rising taxes and health care costs to the retirement decision, the study compares projected retirement income for prototypical workers under two sets of assumptions about future tax and health care burdens." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

White Paper: Engaging Consumers in Changing Health Behaviors (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "In order to positively impact workforce health and reduce costs, employers must move their health programs beyond words to a state of consumer engagement and action. This article summarizes relevant concepts and findings from the fields of psychology, decision research, and social marketing and identifies best practices in developing consumer engagement." (Buck Consultants)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Proposed FASB Staff Position, No. FAS 158-a, Conforming Amendments in FASB Statements (PDF)
256 pages. Excerpt: "This proposed FASB Staff Position (FSP) would make conforming amendments to the illustrations contained in the following appendixes to reflect the provisions of FASB Statement No. 158, Employers' Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans: Appendix B of FASB Statements No. 87, Employers' Accounting for Pensions, Appendix B of FASB Statement No. 88, Employers' Accounting for Settlements and . . . ." (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Overview: IRS Final Regulations on the Use of Electronic Media
Excerpt: "In October 2006, the IRS issued final regulations regarding the use of electronic media for providing employee benefit notices and making employee benefit elections and consents. The final regulations reflect the applicable provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) as it relates to the electronic delivery of notices." (ERISAdiagnostics, Inc.)

IRS Audits of Executive Compensation Suggests Need to Review Pay Practices and Procedures
Originally published Autumn 2004. Excerpt: "Although clearly companies and executives who fail to follow the rules should deal with the adverse consequences of that failure, it is unfortunate that the Service had to resort to the audit technique of enforcement, particularly in light of the dearth of regulatory guidance and lack of clear rules, and particularly in cases where the Service has known about various practices but failed to act in the past." (Steptoe & Johnson LLP)

Deferred Comp Legislation Calls for Review of Severance, Employment, and Compensation Arrangements
Originally published Summer 2005. Excerpt: "Employers need to recognize that most arrangements providing deferred compensation are covered by the new law. These include severance plans and agreements, employment agreements, certain insurance arrangements, and plans that 'wrap' around qualified 401(k) and 403(b) arrangements to provide benefits in excess of qualified plan limits." (Steptoe & Johnson LLP)

Appellate Court Rules Options Taxable When Exercised
Excerpt: "In the first time it has considered the issue, a federal appeals court has ruled that an employee's nonqualified stock options from his employer became taxable when the options were exercised." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Value of Employee Stock Option Grants Declines Sharply, Watson Wyatt Finds
Watson Wyatt

IRS Headquarters Reopens; First Employees Return Today
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Procedure for Making Certain Submissions to the IRS Returns to Normal
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

DMAA, NCQA Collaborate on Disease Management Clinical Measures
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

Health Care Subsidies to Exceed $200 Billion
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Administrator
for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc.
in TX

Compliance Specialist
for Healthcare Management Administrators, Inc. (HMA)
in WA

Director, New Business Development for Health Savings Account Group
for Buck Consultants
in NJ

Retirement Tax Specialist
for Edward Jones
in MO

Senior Technical Education Consultant
for ASPPA
in ANY STATE

Pension Administrator
for Chambers Benefit Group, APC
in NM

Pension Analyst/Senior
for Segal Company
in NY

EAS Executive Trading Plans Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Retirement Plans Client Service Representative- Consultation
for Union Central Life Insurance Company
in OH




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